As a parent, I’ve often heard the comment, “I only let my children watch or play a small amount of electronics each week. It’s so damaging to their intellects.”
To which I always reply, just, you know, keeping it all inside, “Fascinating. I’ve been using video games and television as babysitters since my kids could hold their heads upright unaided. Gosh, maybe I should think about changing that tactic…when they drop off of the honors list!”
To me, casually playing video games, like reading romance books, is about escaping the daily grind in healthy little chunks. No matter our age, we use either to sink into worlds of eye-and-mind-candy playtime, and, often, emotional energy release through role play.
In romance, the latter sometimes is called “slipping into the ‘placeholder’ role,” or identifying closely with the hero or heroine to make the reading experience more authentic, exciting, arousing or a combo of the three.
Today, romance fans and casual gamers have more in common than even their similar demographics of women, 25ish to 65ish. In majorly exciting news, soon they’ll both be able to jump placeholder on-screen and interactively in "Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box," a ready-for-pre-order new casual game which intimately follows the storyline of NY Times bestseller Marjorie M. Liu’s hit paranormal romance, “Tiger Eye.”
A casual game is generally defined as a non-violent game that can be played in drips and drabs, again and again and one which doesn’t have a "finite" ending.
”Tiger Eye” was the first in Liu’s popular, ongoing Dirk and Steel paranormal romance series. Because Liu wrote the entire script for the game and works closely on all game components with the creatives team of PassionFruit Games, the company simultaneously launching their venture and "Tiger Eye:Curse of the Riddle Box," action and storyline in the casual game are very much like those in the novel.
What makes Liu’s casual game different from others that you might want to play to let off some steam? Not only does it have lots of puzzles in addition to hidden-object fun, the artwork also is very distinctive. But more than that, it’ll satisfy your yen for a relationship between a memorable, over-the-top hot hero and a powerful-in-mind-and-body heroine you wouldn’t mind holding your place as the two build their way to HEA.
The budding and strengthening romance is enhanced by what we’re promised are sensual, cinematic cut scenes, and the whole shebang’s voice acted, fairly unusual in casual games of this one’s ilk. Liu says she’s pretty amazed by the way it all comes together. ” It's been incredibly fun," she remarked in an interview yesterday, clearly pleased with the way the project is taking shape. "I've already played parts of the game, listened to the voice actors record lines from the book -- seen the art and storyboards. I believe this is a wonderful new world for romance fiction, and those who love it.”
But could "Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box" have an impact on hardcore gamers? Last night I mentioned to my gamer son -- who’s familiar with Liu from her work writing Dark Wolverine comics – that she’s got a romance game out in pre-order. “We can play together!” I exclaimed.
He said he’d be happy to give over the laptop so I could have a little casual-gaming relaxation time to myself.
Yet again, behold the power of romance.
How cool do you think it'll be to have a romance-novel game, and will you pre-order or buy it? How much time spent playing video games is too much? How much time reading genre fiction like romance, sci-fi, etc., is too much?